Temporal Variations of the Chemical Composition of Three Seaweeds in Two Tropical Coastal Environments


The seaweeds Chaetomorpha antennina, Gymnogongrus griffithsiae and Ulva fasciata were studied regarding tissue concentrations of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total protein, hydrosoluble protein, total carbohydrate, chlorophyll a and total carotenoid throughout a 39-month survey in two coastal environments of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. One of the sites (Itapuca Stone) has high concentrations of dissolved nutrients and an intense long-term process of cultural eutrophication; the second site (Bananal Inlet) is thought to have lower concentrations of dissolved nutrients and no relevant anthropic impact. Seaweeds experienced changes in the concentrations of the substances in the thalli; however they did not show any cyclic seasonal pattern, except for pigments, with lower values in summer in both sites. The differences found for each species in each sampling at the sites were small (e.g. U. fasciata, more total nitrogen at Itapuca Stone) or absent (e.g. C. antennina, no significant differences for hydrosoluble protein in the sites). Differences in the concentrations of dissolved nutrients in the sites did not generate contrasting chemical profiles in the seaweeds. There is no evidence of nitrogen- or phosphorus-limitation in any season. It is presumable that the concentrations of dissolved nutrients at the nutrient-poorer site are sufficient to generate high concentrations of the substances in the thalli of the species tested, similar to the concentrations measured in the eutrophic site. Experimental data are needed to elucidate the factors that promote the success of the species tested under contrasting nutrient availability and environmental disturbance.

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Nascimento, A. , Coelho-Gomes, C. , Barbarino, E. and Lourenço, S. (2014) Temporal Variations of the Chemical Composition of Three Seaweeds in Two Tropical Coastal Environments. Open Journal of Marine Science, 4, 118-139. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2014.42013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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